Daring Fireball's Jon Gruber posted an interest mention in his Notes and Observations piece after Apple's Let's Rock event on Tuesday. Buried at the end of his third paragraph is this little gem that predicts the date of the upcoming MacBook revision:
Those of you holding out for a new lineup of MacBooks will have to wait until October 14, according to sources who, as they say, are familiar with Apple’s hardware plans.
No other details were given but, for what it's worth, October 14 is a Tuesday and we know that Apple likes to make their announcements on Tuesdays.
MacBooks and MacBook Pros are currently Apple's longest shipping products and arguably most in need of a refresh. According to the MacRumors Buyers Guide it has been 198 days since the MacBook was updated and its average revision window is 192 days. The MacBook Pro was also updated 198 days ago and its average revision window is 194 days. Both products are listed as "Don't Buy - Updates Soon."
CNet's Tom Krazit notes that Apple missed the back-to-school buying window for notebooks and that problems delivering Intel's new Centrino 2 mobile chips probably contributed to the delay.
So let's review some of the current speculation around what we can expect to see in Apple's new notebooks.
ComputerWorld’s Seth Weintraub mentioned that the new MB and MBP will be "going glass." Ignore for the moment that he targeted the "end of September," we'll blame the delay on Intel. He posits:
- The new models are thinner than current MacBook and MacBook Pros and slightly more rounded, taking design cues from the MacBook Air.
- The trackpad is glass, multi-touch and uses gestures. The screen isn’t multi-touch.
- The body is manufactured out of one piece of aluminum. Eco-friendly, yet sturdy. Manufacturing process is completely different.
AppleInsider adds that Apple may be exploring chip alternatives for the new notebooks but that the primary CPU will continue to come from Intel.
Some have said that the newest MacBook Pro (not the MacBook, mind you) will also include an optical drive capable of reading (not writing) Blu-Ray discs. ZDNet's own Robet Harris noted that Panasonic announced the industry’s first slim-line (9.5 mm) Blu-ray DVD writer at CES on January 6 and that Panasonic supplies most of Apple’s notebook DVD burners, so draw your own conclusions there.
Update: Although it's been 240 days since the MacBook Air was announced in January there's no historical data to indicate when Apple might update its new-ish subnotebook. It's been noted that the new 120GB iPod classic hard drive is the same 1.8-inch mechanism found in the MBA so it stands to reason that that will trickle down to the MBA in the next revision. Also, Toshiba began shipping a low-cost 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD) back in March 2008, so it stands to reason that a higher-cap SSD option will also land in the MBA soon.
What would you like to see in new Apple portables?